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WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson has died

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A short time ago, The Cauliflower Alley Club (a fraternal organization for current and retired pro wrestlers) shared the sad news that WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson has died. The “Soul Man” was 75. There is no information regarding cause of death, nor had there been reports he was ill.

Many fans predominantly know Johnson as the father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but the man born Wayde Douglas Bowles had plenty of accolades of his own in addition to siring one of the 21st century’s most famous people. Over a 25 year career, Johnson wrestled for numerous territories, and challenged NWA Worlds champions like Harley Race and Terry Funk in the 1970s. He also worked with Jerry Lawler in Memphis.

Tag team wrestling proved to be his calling card, however. After holding several regional NWA tag belts, he joined the then-WWF in 1982 and was paired with Tony Atlas. “The Soul Patrol” became the first black WWF Tag champions in 1983 when they defeated The Wild Samoans.

After retiring, Johnson trained his son, and even appeared with him on-screen when Dwayne was still playing the Rocky Maivia babyface character. Rocky later worked as a trainer at OVW. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.

Johnson married Ata Maivia, who he met while tagging with her father, High Chief Peter Maivia. They had Dwayne in 1972, and were married until 2003. He also had two children from another marriage.

Join us in sending love and support to Ata, Dwayne and all the people who will miss Rocky Johnson.